Tag: Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman Injury: Updates on Nationals 1B’s Wrist and Return

The Washington Nationals will be without one of their key hitters and leaders in the coming days, as first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a wrist injury. 

Continue for updates.

Latest on Zimmerman’s Wrist Injury

Saturday, Aug. 6

The Nationals announced that Zimmerman was placed on the DL retroactive to Aug. 1, and his injury is officially being characterized as a left wrist contusion.

The 31-year-old veteran is in the midst of a down year, as he is hitting just .222 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI for a Nats squad that is looking to return to the postseason after missing out in 2015.

In addition to his inconsistency at the plate, Zimmerman has struggled with injuries, as he previously spent time on the disabled list with a strained rib.

Zimmerman has been on the DL often over the past few seasons, having played in only 95 games last year and just 61 games in 2014.

Prior to that three-year stretch, Zimmerman was as automatic and reliable as any player in Major League Baseball.

From 2009 through 2013, the former All-Star hit .275 or better with 25 or more home runs in four of those five campaigns.

He has fallen off since then largely because of injuries, but he is still a valuable piece in Washington because of his experience and the fact that he has been through plenty of ups and downs over the years with the Nationals.

With Zimmerman on the DL, Clint Robinson figures to be the primary fill-in at first base. He hasn’t hit for a great average this season, but he has some pop, as he has produced a stat line of a .212 batting average with five homers and 22 RBI.

The fact that Zimmerman is having a down year means his replacement doesn’t necessarily have to go on a tear in order to make up for his lost statistical production.

Washington is fortunate to have a stacked lineup featuring stars such as Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos, among others, so even though Zimmerman’s absence means a loss of depth and leadership, there is enough talent in place to fill the void.


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Nationals Turn 1st Triple Play Since Moving to Washington

The Washington Nationals turned a triple play in Friday’s 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, marking the first time the franchise has done so since moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Montreal Expos last had one on September 9, 2002, leaving the franchise with a drought that lasted nearly 14 years.

Friday’s triple play was a great way to start, as it erased a bases-loaded, no-out rally in the eighth inning of a three-run game against a team the Nationals could very well end up fighting for playoff position.

It was also unique for the way it was turned, with first baseman Ryan Zimmerman catching a low line drive and stepping on the bag before firing over to third baseman Anthony Rendon for the first 3-3-5 triple play in MLB history, per MLB on Twitter.

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was the batter, but the real mistake was made by outfielder Denard Span, who for some reason ran from third base to home plate on contact, even though the ball was hit in the air.

The other player involved was Nationals relief pitcher Sammy Solis, who only faced the one batter and needed just two pitches to record three outs.


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Ryan Zimmerman Injury: Updates on Nationals 1B’s Status and Return

Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has gone on the 15-day disabled list with an unspecified injury. 

Continue for updates.  

Dusty Baker Mum on Zimmerman’s Ailment

Friday, July 8

The Nationals announced the move Friday. 

On Thursday, manager Dusty Baker said Zimmerman was out due to a “sore something,” according to the Washington Post‘s Chelsea Janes

This is a difficult blow for the injury-plagued 31-year-old, especially since he appeared in only 95 games in 2015 and 61 games in 2014. In fact, he hasn’t appeared in at least 150 games in a season since the 2009 campaign, which is one reason he moved to first base from his old position of third base.

When healthy, Zimmerman is still a dangerous offensive player. Thus far, he is batting just .221 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 2016.

He posted solid power numbers last season with 16 home runs and 73 RBI, but he hit only .249 with a .308 on-base percentage. Still, he was a force in his prime and was a 2009 All-Star with a .292 batting average, 33 home runs, 106 RBI and a WAR of 7.1, per ESPN.com. He followed that up the next year with a .307 batting average, 25 home runs, 85 RBI and a WAR of 6.0.

He earned Silver Slugger awards in both of those seasons and was a Gold Glove third baseman in 2009.

The hope in the nation’s capital was Zimmerman would bounce back to his old form, but the Nationals can at least turn to Clint Robinson in his absence. Robinson played 126 games last season and hit .272 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. The fact he picked up critical experience in 2015 will help him fill in for Zimmerman until the starting first baseman returns.

While Robinson can serve as the first baseman for the immediate future, Washington is trying to rebound from a disappointing 2015 and could use Zimmerman’s veteran presence and pop back in the lineup.

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Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman Loses His Footing, Falls Trying to Catch Pop-Up

The Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman may have switched to first base just last year, but a veteran player like him would not make excuses for botching a routine play like this, regardless of whether he’s still learning a new position.

In the bottom of the first inning of Wednesday’s spring training game, New York Mets third baseman David Wright hit a soft pop-up to first that should have been the second out of the inning. However, Zimmerman initially went a step or two too far back and had to correct himself.

Then, “Oh my goodness, that’s embarrassing.” You can say that again.

Wright’s routine pop-up fell in for a “single” as Zimmerman ate dirt, and there were smiles all around when the fielder and runner met at first base. Fortunately for the Nationals veteran, Wright did not wind up scoring.


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Ryan Zimmerman Injury: Updates on Nationals 1B’s Foot and Return

A foot injury cost Ryan Zimmerman a somewhat significant chunk of the 2015 season due to plantar fasciitis, and MLB.com’s William Ladson reported Sunday the Washington Nationals are taking Zimmerman’s recovery slowly, with manager Dusty Baker hoping the 31-year-old returns in a few weeks.

Continue for updates.

Zimmerman Back to Limited Practice in Spring Training

Sunday, March 6

“It’s a cautious approach, knowing I don’t need that many at-bats down here to get ready,” Zimmerman said, per Ladson. “I would be more worried if I haven’t been able to do everything else. I have participated in everything but the running, which I did for the first time [Tuesday], and I feel good today.”

Health problems have limited Zimmerman’s time on the field over the last two years. He played in 61 games in 2014 and then 95 games a season ago. The frustration for the Nationals is compounded by the fact that he’s due at least $62 million until 2020.

The 2009 All-Star’s days as a premier corner infielder are gone. His defense has declined, which coupled with his injuries will likely prevent him from ever moving back to third base on a full-time basis.

There’s no question Zimmerman can still be a valuable asset in Washington’s lineup when healthy. He hit .249 with 16 home runs, 73 runs batted in and a .465 slugging percentage in 2015.

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello illustrated how much his plantar fasciitis hindered him at the plate:

Since he’s at least working out with the team, Zimmerman’s chances of starting for the Nationals on Opening Day look fairly good. They open the season on April 4 on the road against the Atlanta Braves.

In the event Zimmerman is unavailable, Baker can have Tyler Moore or Clint Robinson hold down first base at the start of the regular season until he’s healthy enough to return.

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Ryan Zimmerman Comments on Al Jazeera Report’s PED Allegations, More

In his first comments since an Al Jazeera America report linked him to alleged performance-enhancing drug use, Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman was defiant Tuesday.

According to Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com, the 31-year-old first baseman lamented the fact that the report could negatively impact his reputation within the community:

I’ve spent my whole career, my whole life really doing things the right way, so you’re shocked. … It’s one of those things where you don’t really have an answer. You don’t know why or how this happened. Then, you turn from being shocked to being angry and frustrated. The biggest thing that frustrated me or angered me was not so much what you guys think or baseball players think, but I spend a lot of time I think in the community in D.C. with kids and families and things like that. To think that, I guess my integrity and the person that I really am is questioned by someone who has never met me, doesn’t know what I’m about. I think that was probably the hardest part.

As seen in this video of the report, courtesy of Al Jazeera English on Twitter, Zimmerman was one of many accused of PED involvement, including Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning:

Zimmerman and Howard both filed a defamation lawsuit against Al Jazeera America on the heels of source Charlie Sly recanting the statements that Al Jazeera used to create the report.

Per Hughes, Zimmerman didn’t think twice about filing the suit since he felt it was important to do everything possible to protect his reputation:

It was an easy decision for me to do it because I’m fortunate enough to have the resources. It’s really, really hard to win these suits, but I think it’s my responsibility not only to clear my name but if I do this and whether I win or lose on the defamation suit whatever it is, even if it gets to a trial, I sort of felt a responsibility because I am able to fight it that maybe if this stops this from happening to just one person after me, then it’s worth it.

The 2005 first-round pick also revealed that he believes his trainer, Jason Riley, being linked to the report is the primary reason why his name was mentioned by Al Jazeera America:

None of that stuff is true. I’ve never done any of that. I’ve never thought about doing any of that. It’s a tough spot. You do everything the right way. You work. You think something like this will never happen, and then, for some reason, it does.

I think Jason Riley is the reason that I was involved in this. Jason is a trainer I’ve worked with for years. His reputation is one of, if not the cleanest reputation trainers have. I can’t speak for what happens with who he’s involved with, things like that … I would assume that that’s the link. It’s kind of reckless. A lot of people have worked with trainers and things like that. It’s hard to just throw peoples’ names out there without really having any sort of proof.

Zimmerman is a former All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner who has enjoyed an excellent 11-year career in Major League Baseball thus far.

The career .283 hitter with 200 home runs and 783 RBI has spent his entire career with the Nats and his name has never been at the forefront of PED suspicion until now.

According to Hughes, Zimmerman doesn’t believe he has been treated fairly nor presumed innocent since the report was released despite his track record: “There’s gotta be a line drawn somewhere. There’s gotta be a way for innocent people to not be basically be proven guilty in the public opinion and then have to fight to be innocent. It’s supposed to be the other way around in this country.”

If the Nationals are going to return to the playoffs in 2016 after a one-year absence, they need Zimmerman to be on the field and to be among their top offensive contributors.

Fairly or not, Zimmerman figures to be under enhanced scrutiny by Major League Baseball moving forward due to the report.

There hasn’t been any news with regard to a potential suspension, but going up against Al Jazeera America and winning could be Zimmerman’s best hope of clearing his name.


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Ryan Zimmerman Reportedly Suing Al Jazeera America over Doping Allegations

Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman will reportedly sue Al Jazeera America for alleged defamation. 

Reuters reported Tuesday that the 31-year-old was going to file suit against the broadcast news outlet. 

According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, Zimmerman’s lawsuit denies he took any illegal performance-enhancing substances:

Zimmerman was among the athletes Al Jazeera America included in a report titled The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers that aired on Dec. 27 in connection to a doping ring, according to Travis Waldron and Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post.

“The report, ‘The Dark Side,’ is the result of a monthslong investigation in which Liam Collins, a British hurdler, went undercover in an attempt to expose the widespread nature of performance-enhancing drugs in global sports,” Waldron and Grim’s report stated. 

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was the centerpiece of Al Jazeera America’s piece, with Zimmerman one of the nine other athletes from various sports mentioned.

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Chicago Cubs minor league catcher Taylor Teagarden were the other baseball players named. A source told CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury Howard is filing a defamation lawsuit against Al Jazeera as well.

Per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Howard and Zimmerman’s attorney, William Burck, released a statement on behalf of his clients denying the allegations:

It’s inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast outright lies about Mr. Howard and Mr. Zimmerman.

The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims. We will go to court to hold Al Jazeera and other responsible parties accountable for smearing our clients’ good names.

The Nationals also released a statement included in Zolecki’s report about the allegations against Zimmerman.

“Ryan has unequivocally stated that these allegations are false,” the statement said. “The Lerner family and our organization fully support him. We are confident Major League Baseball’s investigation will show the allegations levied in the report are unfounded.”

Zimmerman has spent his entire 11-year career with the Nationals, playing just 156 games the last two seasons because of injuries. He was named to the National League All-Star team and won a Gold Glove in 2009. 

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MLB’s Early Struggling Stars Poised for Loud Turnarounds

From Davis Ortiz to Robinson Cano, a constellation of MLB‘s brightest stars have been among the game’s biggest duds in 2015.

While the five underachievers who crack this unfortunate list have all been major disappointments so far, it’s not time to write them off just yet. The most compelling reason for why they’re all poised for loud turnarounds is that they all boast impressive big league resumes.

Plus, after digging through the numbers, there’s no way to avoid the reality that a few of these stars have been downright unlucky in the opening months of 2015.

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Washington Nationals’ Position-by-Position Breakdown at 2015 Spring Training

The Washington Nationals checked off all of their boxes this offseason—fortifying the infield and amplifying the rotation—and now, with spring training upon us, we get our first look at the double take-inducing product the Nats will send out this summer.

Washington has eight everyday field players and five starting pitchers who don’t have to worry about fighting for playing time. All that’s left to decide on that front is the order of the lineup and the rotation, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for compelling position battles. 

This preview is a chance to get familiar with the Nationals who will make the biggest contribution to a potential World Series run, their likely backups and fringe players who may be needed in case of emergency this season.

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Washington Nationals’ 5 Most Important Players for 2015 Success

Contrary to popular belief, the Washington Nationals have not been crowned 2015 World Series champions just yet, and there are a number of players on the roster who must perform up to or beyond their potential for the team to reach its lofty goals. 

In 2014, the Nationals’ Achilles’ heel was a lack of offense when they needed it most.

Washington’s pitching staff mowed down opponents all season, earning the best ERA in baseball. And the addition of Max Scherzer without the subtraction of any starters from a year ago should equal continued dominance from the mound. 

With the disclaimer that Washington only played one postseason series, the team had the second-lowest batting average of the 10-team playoff field. That could be Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants‘ fault, but the Nats’ .253 regular-season average wasn’t all that impressive either. 

The sheer depth of Washington’s starting rotation—including Tanner Roark’s ability to step in if someone in the rotation suffers an injury—disqualifies any one starter from a spot on this list.

Instead, the criteria for inclusion are the consequences of a lackluster season from a particular player and the high stakes behind a transition into a new role.

If someone like closer Drew Storen or newly minted first baseman Ryan Zimmerman fall apart or sees extended time on the disabled list in 2015, the Nationals will face some scary on-the-fly decisions during the season.

That said, here are the five most important individual players on a 2015 Washington team that will be viewed as an abject failure without a deep postseason run.



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